Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury on Monday said growing environmental awareness around the world has increased the demand for jute and rise in its market price both nationally and globally.
She was addressing as the chief guest at a seminar on Jute and Natural Fibre at Islmailia Jamatkhana and Centre (IJKC) at Bashundhara Residential Area in the capital.“Farmers are also getting fair price of jute in recent time,” she informed.
“Jute is the second most important fibre crop after cotton in the world and it is also the main cash crop of Bangladesh. Around 4 to 4.5 million small and subsistence farmers eke out a living from jute.”
She revealed that production of jute was about 60-65 lakh bales (1.0 to 1.7 million tonnes) in 1980s which decreased to 44 to 45 lakh bales (0.79 to 0.85 million tonnes) in 1090s onward.
Recently, jute production has increased amazingly by about 70-80 lakh bales. Because of good policy of government, jute output has been raised to 1.6 to 1.45 million tonnes from .70 to .75 million hectares of land from 2010 onward, the minister said.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given importance to production of this natural fibre,” she said, adding that Bangladesh earned more than one billion US dollar that is 3 to 4 percent as foreign exchange by exporting raw jute and jute products.
French Ambassador to Bangladesh Marie-Annick Bourdin has delivered the welcome address.Among others, Amitava Chakraborty, a trade expert, also former director of Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI), Babul Chandra Roy, advisor (research) of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), Rabiul Ahsan, member of BJA,BJMA and DCCI, Rina Parveen, executive director Jute Diversification Promotion Centre (JDPC), SM Mahbub Ali, director (administration and finance) Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI), Professor Dr Mirza Hasanuzzaman of agronomy department, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, spoke on the occasion.